Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A [late] postcard from my summer hols……….

I’ve been back a week and brought back with me most of the stamps, I took to affix to all the postcards; I was going to buy and send.

I only managed to write a few cards because I got writer’s cramp and writer’s block. Not to mention that I’m easily distracted and I became overwhelmed by the endless supply of red wine in Stranraer.

Bet you didn’t know this but it’s an amazing fact that more red wine is drunk in Stranraer than anywhere else in Europe. Isn’t it an amazing fact? Yes, I thought so too. My thoughts were ‘God I make up some amazing facts and so effortlessly too’]

But what a holiday we’ve had. I’m still getting over the fact that we drove over a thousand miles without needing to take a phrase book or purchase euros. We haven’t done many ‘holidays in the UK’ malarkey before, but I’m a bloody expert now, so don’t bother with the English Tourist Board just ask me because I’m up to A level standard already.

And also because we crossed the border into Scotland, I’m also totally knowledgeable about anything with a Mac at the front of it. Test me if you like, but I’m now well versed in Scottish lighthouses, traditions and cuisine. I’ve eaten lots of really Scottish food such as real porridge [made with oats from a packet with a man wearing a kilt], square sausage, neaps’ & tatties, Scottish lobster, side of Aberdeen Angus [casseroled in an Iron Bru sauce], and a deep fried Mars Bar. I’m a total jockaphile. In my next life I’m coming back as Mary Queen of Scots or Sheena Easton.

Back to the beginning, because I feel I want to share my holiday with you, dear reader, as quickly as possible because I want to go to bed. I had to go to Thorpe Pak today and it’s a terrible place. I’m renaming it the ‘Chav Republic’. I want to go to bed real soon, so that when I wake up tomorrow, today will be a fading unpleasant memory, on par with being mugged at knife point.

So the beginning our holiday started the day after Lizzie broke up from school with a bit of a ‘domestic’ on our drive because Gary thought I was taking to much stuff. I admit both of us had to sit on the boot to close it and you couldn’t see out of the back windows but hardly ‘too much stuff’’.

I’m just one of those women who would need counselling if forced to take less than 15 pairs of shoes on holiday. I did attempt compromise, but only for a couple of seconds, as I started to feel quite queasy at the thought of jettisoning my strappy purple sandals with the kitten heel. They make me walk like a sex goddess and I keep them on in bed. How could I leave those behind?

Eventually I won on a technicality, because I pointed out that we were carrying gifts for other including 2 x 3 litre wine boxes and a gift for Gary’s Mum in Blackpool. So with no more ado, apart from going back in twice more to make sure the gas was off, and then back again to check the taps were off, and back in for a final wee, and then stopping for a paper and petrol and to put more air in the tyres; and the finally an our after saying “that’s it we’re ready’ we were heading out of Old Windsor.

So without anymore prevarication here’s my guide to a UK holiday because Thorpe Park thoughts keep niggling me.

M6 toll road, [somewhere near Birmingham & Staffordshire]. This is a ‘must do’ because you escape all the lorries and cars over ten years old. It’s a pikey free zone and helps you forget that Birmingham exists.

Stafford Services Flowers in the toilets and a nice lake to sit by with your mug of tea. There are allsorts of wild fowl, so watch out for Canadian Goose poo, especially if wearing purple strappy, open toe sandals.

Lake District We stayed in a ‘Best Western’ at ‘Bowness on Windermere’ which is a town and not a bowel disorder. This hotel is very popular with Japs and Jag owners. Gary was most impressed by our own numbered huge parking space, which meant his darling car was safe from inadvertent contamination from other vehiles.

You can’t visit the Lake District without going shopping ….I mean fell walking and for this activity I wore my Gore-Tex full laced walking boots [so much more stylish than the Velcro variety].

Sellafield Nuclear Energy Plant I wouldn’t say the Visitors Centre was empty, but there were only two other cars in the car park and they belonged to staff. However Gary has made a mental note that Sellafield offers tops Jag parking. This scores high on educational content but the shop was rubbish.

Hadrians Wall
On our way to Scotland we visited ‘Homestead’ which is an old Roman Fort with Hadrian’s Wall attached to it. It’s run by the National Trust, so the Jag parking is fine, because most National trust members arrive in ancient motor homes. The occupants are normally husband and wife combos, wearing matching fleeces ad smelling of wet dogs. For this visit I chose to wear my white M&S ‘foot glove’ sandals. Yes, they are two years old but the motor homes owners still looked on as if I was a style icon, because I teamed my white sandals with a bright pink mini skirt and a gel bra. You could see me in Newcastle [where I would have fitted in].

Hadrian’s Wall is also very educational and will be nice when finished.

Scotland As we crossed the border we cheered and put on a ‘Proclaimers’ CD. I sang with gusto for ten miles, until Gary threatened o dump some shoes if I didn’t stop singing. I spent the rest of the journey miming and wondering which pairs he would have got rid of….. It’s about ninety miles from the border to Stranraer and its mostly single carriageway, so try and ‘cut up’ the lorries on the roundabouts.

Once we arrived at Stranraer we had to find our friend Gordon’s ten acre smalla holding which you think would be easy to find. How wrong we were. I think I could have found the lost city of Atlantis quicker.

Finally Gary admitted that his GPS had been defeated and we gave in and asked directions. Gordon’s Caledonian retreat is certainly remote. I would like to say it’s at the ‘back of the beyond’, but it’s further away than that. It’s nearer to the ‘arse end of nowhere’

To be continued, as I have a lot more to say about Scotland and particularly what footwear is required for climbing lighthouses and visiting Botanic gardens…….

I also need to spell check this and read it through for clarity, but bugger that I’m too tired, so I’m posting it tonight.

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